Special needs teachers’ assignments and work in special schools for students with intellectual disability in Sweden

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

Abstract

Special needs teacher (SNT) in special school for students with intellectual disability (ID) is a new profession, which has not been explored to greater extent and therefore it is important to highlight their professional role. The aim was to analyze what characterizes the SNTs work and assignments and what collaborations they engage in inside and outside the special school. Changes made to the policy document of the National Agency of Education 2011 and set new demands on SNTs, with stronger focus on skill assessment and improving the academic performance of students with ID. International research has also noted a trend towards an increased focus on academic skills in the teaching of students with ID. To collect data of SNT’s perceptions about competence, school assignments and collaboration, a questionnaire was constructed. The study group consisted of 88 respondents with special needs teacher degrees from three universities in southern Sweden. Lipsky's concept (1980) 'street level bureauucracy' constitutes the theoretical framework. The results showed that most SNTs had long work experience from a special school for ID before they started the special needs training program. When SNTs describe their work and assignments, classroom education is in the forefront. Other assignments e.g., supervision or subjectdevelopment exist, but not to the same extent as classroom teaching. It is also common for SNTs to collaborate with professionals both inside and outside the special school. A significant difference exists in interaction between primary and upper secondary school, as they have a common principal. One conclusion that was drawn was that SNTs have many collaboration partners, possess many different skills, and most of them continue as class teachers after the special needs teacher’s degree.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventNNDR 2019 - ordic Network for Disability research (NNDR) Inclusion and exclusion in the wefare society 8-10 march in Copenhagen, Denmark. -
Duration: 1980-Jan-01 → …

Conference

ConferenceNNDR 2019 - ordic Network for Disability research (NNDR) Inclusion and exclusion in the wefare society 8-10 march in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Period80-01-01 → …

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Pedagogy (50301)

Keywords

  • assignment
  • special ed teacher: special needs teacher
  • special educational need

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